The Washington Times - December 9, 2011, 12:42PM

Jeff Schultz played just 3:55 Wednesday night – eight shifts in the Washington Capitals’ 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. He won’t play at all Friday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The big defenseman did some extra work with assistant Jim Johnson after Friday’s morning skate as he tries to find his game again.


It’s getting back to the way I played a couple years ago, that breakout season,” Schultz said. “I feel like it starts in practice and going the things, working with Jim afterwards and just getting back to that confidence level that I know I can play at and being real positive on myself and stuff like that.”

Schultz was a plus-50 player two years ago while paired with Mike Green, though some of that stat has to do with the Caps’ high-scoring ways and success en route to the Presidents’ Trophy. He did have three goals and 20 assists that season.

I was feeling feeling very self-confident. When I got out there, there’s no doubts in myself. I just kind of went out there and played,” Schultz said. “Mike and I worked very well together. I just played the way the game was going and didn’t try to do too much.”

Schultz is having a bit of a harder time this season. Hence the extra work with Johnson.

Just a lot of footwork drills and pivoting, getting back to pucks quick when they dump it in and giving yourself that extra second to make a play and getting up in the play and taking time and space away,” Schultz said.

As for the limited ice time Wednesday in Ottawa, Schultz handled the discussion of that as well as can be expected.

It’s just kind of the way the game went,” he said. “The matchups that they were trying to get out there – that’s just the way things worked that night. It’s nothing that you want to dwell on. It’s stay positive and stay confident and be ready for next game.”

That next game won’t be until at least Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. Until then, there’s more time for Schultz to rediscover some old form.